Saturday, April 28, 2007

What I Got - 4.25.07

Hey there! Let's get this thing back on track. I don't want people to think I'm a quitter like Spencer (yeah, go on over to his blog and give him crap). Overall, a light week and while nothing was bad, nothing was truly satisfying, so here's what I got:

52: Week 51

Easily, the best of the week, serving both as an epilogue to last week's WWIII and tying up the "space arc". Adam Strange and Buddy Baker get very satisfying conclusions to their travails and Starfire gets the best one-liner of the year leveled at her for her trouble ("Did Roger order a stripper?"). Good stuff all together.

Then there's the lead-in to next week's finale, we see the rebirth of the new Mr. Mind. Kinda cool, until you realize that Mr. Mind's appeal is that he's a cartoony caterpillar with glasses and an old radio hanging around his neck for him to speak through. But now that he's a alien-bat-butterfly-creepy-ass thing, he kinda loses that. I'm still excited to see where this leads.

Amazons Attack #1

Crap. Well, I don't want to say absolute crap, since Pete Woods's art is always welcome, but c'mon DC, can you at least start by re-capping what the hell is supposed to be going on first? I mean, this isn't even number one of this series, from what I understand, everything began in Wonder Woman #8, which I didn't read, and neither did anyone else since you fucked that series up so much. Ug, the worst part is that I'm still going to pick up the next issue to see if it's better. Damn it.

Astro City: The Dark Age: Book Two #3

Dear Mr. Busiek & Mr. Anderson, I love your book, but the whole wait between your oh-so-not-often issues has led me to completely forget what the devil is going on from issue-to-issue so I'm ditching your single issues for trades. Sorry.

For what it's worth, this was a very good issue, I can't wait to read it again in the trade in 2 years.

Bonus DVD Review

Venture Bros. Season 2

I just had to include this. This series is what I always wanted Johnny Quest to be when I was watching it at 3am after coming home from the bars in college. Sample dialogue:

Dean Venture: "Dad, you wrote a fan letter to the Herculoids when you were 10?!"

Hank Venture: "This isn't a fan letter, he calls them hippies for not fighting in Vietnam."

All that, and you get the final battle between David Bowie and Iggy Pop & Klaus Nomi. Awesome.

Have a good one, talk at you in a few.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Rawk!

Hey all, a large contingent of my friends will be attending this Saturday's Ted Leo & the Pharmacists show at the Metro. I'm stuck at home with the boys, unfortuantely, so hopefully it'll be a good time none-the-less. Here's a little bit of what the rest of us are missing:

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Sons of Cain

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pardon the Interruption

Yeah, so it's been a shitty week or so, so I'm skipping last week's reviews. To sum up:

Good: 52, The Spirit (despite this), X-Factor, The Brave & the Bold (best of the week) & Volume 2 of Brubaker & Lark's Daredevil.

Bad: DC's World War III one-shots. Worse than the Planet of the Apes remake.

So, to amuse you and hold you over until this week's review (most likely on Saturday), watch this:

Apparently, they're making an entire special like this. I'll watch.

If you need another smile, check out Spencer's APE sketches. If he didn't live 2000 miles away, and I wasn't so darned lazy, I'd steal them.

Have a good one!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Question: Could OYL Become the New Year One?

I've been thinking about this a lot. Since it's now evident that 52 will not be covering a lot of the major changes that happened during the "missing year" in DC continuity, will we see a rash of OYL mini-series in the coming years? I realize that there's a whole gang of Year One series coming in the next year, but there's a lot of story-telling possibilities in what happened during the missing year. Maybe this will be the focus of up-coming annuals (as is the case in Nightwing and The Outsiders), but I'd really like to see at least a mini focusing on how Gordon and Bullock came back on the force in Gotham City. Maybe if DC can lure Brubaker and Lark back from Marvel..... Well, a guy can dream at least. Any thoughts out there in the blog-o-drome?

FYI...Reviews for last week on Monday, it's been a busy weekend. Have a good one!

Friday, April 13, 2007

What I Got 4.11.07

Hey there, well, it's been a long week, and I have no idea why. Nothing exciting's happened, it's just been long. Irregardless, I'm going to see Iggy & The Stooges on Sunday, so I am a happy man. Now on to the comics:

52: Week 49

The JSA finally gets their shit together and decides to take out Oolong Island, but China's Great 10 have an issue with that, a political issue. This brings the saga of Will Magnus and his fellow mad scientists to a very satisfying close. Will shows why you don't want to take him off of his meds. The art wasn't the greatest and it was a shame that they didn't line up "name" artists for the last four or five issues, but the World War II one-shots next week all have excellent pedigrees, so I won't quibble about that too much. As good as this week was, it's all set up for the blow out next week, so stay tuned!

Fell #8
So Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith's short-form cop series finally gets another issue out. This isn't such a big deal, since they're all self contained tales, but they're SO DAMN GOOD. Our "hero" gives us a brief tour of the City of Snowton and this seems to be a kick-off for a second "season" of sorts for this title. If you're not reading this, give it a try, hell, it's only $1.99, so you really can't go wrong.

Nova #1
As I said in my pull-list column, I have an unexplainable love for Nova, but this issue makes it worth it. After the Annihilation War (which I didn't read), the Nova Corps (essentially the Green Lantern Corps of the Marvel Universe) has been decimated and all that's left Richard Ryder as the last Nova Centurion. Unfortunately for him, there's a lot of war fall-out to deal with. Since he now contains all of the power of all of the Nova Corps (and the world-mind, which was their database), he's up to the task physically, but maybe not mentally. This issue shows how jumping from extinction-level-event to event can really wear you down. This is a very good set up for a series and the preview of the next issue looks like I'll be happy again next month.

My only real complaint was the art by Sean Chen. There wasn't anything wrong with it, it was just very plain, especially after the amazing Adi Granoz cover, but then again, if Granov was doing this book, I'd be bitching about the schedule, like our next book...

All-Star Superman #7

This series would probably be hailed as the greatest thing EVER, if not for it's lousy schedule. In this issue, we get a Bizarro attack on Metropolis, and it's awesome. I really can't quantify why this is so great, it just is. The last page made me shriek like a little girl, mostly because it's cliff-hanger and we'll be lucky if we get the conclusion before the All-Star Break. Damn you Morrison!

Incidentally, if you are currently not in possession of the first six issues of this series, they're now out in hardcover, go get them, NOW.

Madman Atomic Comics #1

Another decade, another volume of Madman. They always begin with a lot of promise, and they always end with a lot of blown deadlines and a move to another project. Either way, I'll keep reading because Mike Allred's art is so darn beautiful. Sometimes his writing isn't the best, but I'll pay the admission just to look at the pictures. For example, I almost bought The Golden Plates, his adaptation of the Book of Mormon, a religion I'm really not interested in, just to look at his art. That's dedication for you.

Now he's back on his first creation and it's a good first issue, mostly it's a recap of the previous 20 or 30 issues he written and it's very good, but the real test will be the next issue to see where the story's going. I don't really care, there'll still be pretty pictures.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


So I'm watching this Britpop documentary on BBC America, and they show a snippet of this video which I had thus far never seen.

I immediately jumped on the 'tube and took a look at the full thing and I was struck with some thoughts:
  1. What a perfect, perfect pop song.
  2. What an ugly, ugly band.
  3. I will be listening to a lot of Supergrass this week.
Incidentally, the doc (which is called Britpop: Live Forever) is OK, but a little too self-important. They tried comparing Britpop to Grunge in that they were both major music revolutions. However, Grunge pretty much conquered the US and England and Europe, while Britpop was pretty much confined to their side of the Atlantic. Mind you, I MUCH prefer Britpop, but hey, you gotta tell it how it is (or was).

[Update: Incidentally, the track is Allright by Supergrass, if you are unfamiliar, go out and get their excellent Best of album as a primer.]

Friday, April 06, 2007

What I Got - 4.4.07

So baseball season is back in full swing, and the Cubs are almost .500 (they're up 6-0 on the Brewers right now), so hopefully, I'll have more than comics to keep me warm this Summer. Also, I watched the trailer for Die hard 4 the other day, and man, that movie has a chance to be a lot of fun, or, a lot of bad. Perhaps even both.

On to this week's books:

52: Week 48

So Montoya and Nightwing go on a tear tracking down the kidnapped Batwoman. Overall, it's pretty good, but the usually-excellent Darrick Robertson's art looks kinda scratchy. There are some great pages (particularly the full-page reveal of Montoya as the Question for the first time), but it all feels pretty rushed. The story itself was kinda eh. The could've probably told it in half the pages. However, the last page and the preview of next week are causing hope to spring up again, and then we have the whole WWIII brou-ha-ha in two weeks, so I'm still feeling confident in the whole enterprise.

Immortal Iron Fist #4

Danny Rand gets clued in on the history of the Iron Fist (plural) and the story heats up to the showdown with our main villain. Very cool stuff.


Alpha Flight Classic Vol. 1

Well, by all accounts the new Omega Flight series sucks, but at least it brought this collection of our crime-fighting neighbors to the north out of the woodwork. I'm only one issue in, but this is fun. Man, I miss the days when John Byrne was known for his writing and art more than for being a dickwad on the internet.

The book itself is a little expensive ($25 for 8 issues), but one of them is double-sized, plus you get the old Marvel Universe profiles of the team and an old Marvel Age interview, so it's worth it. Hopefully, we'll get at least the rest of the Byrne run of this series in trade.

Batman: Detective

There was a sale going on at the shop, so I picked this up. I'd picked all of these issues up as singles, except one, but this is stuff worth having. Essentially, Paul Dini is writing the episodes of the animated series he would have, had he not had to reign in some of the violence so as not to scar the kiddies. The only drawback is that after J.H. Williams' art in the first two issues, the rest seems like a let-down. The others are very good (except the Poison Ivy issue, too big-boobed 90's style art, but hey, if you're going to do it, you might as well do it in the issue when you have a naked, green big-boobed villain), but after Williams stuff, anything would look pedestrian. Good single-issue stories of Batman solving mysteries, as it should be.

Anyhoo, thanks for reading, it'll be pretty quiet this weekend, with the Holiday and all. Have a happy whatever you celebrate in your particular home and I'll talk at ya soon. If you need something to do, be sure to get in on the action over at FIST-A-CUFFS.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Favorite. Panel. Ever.

(Click to enbiggen)

From JSA: The Liberty Files #2

Do you really need to be told that the guy on the left is Batman? Really?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Anatomy 202 - The Pull-List Revisited

All right, so Spencer followed up my Anatomy of a Pull-List post with his own. Of course between reading his, and actually LOOKING at my own, I realized I both left a few off and had to add some others. For review purposes, here's my rules on what I'm adding again:
  1. Books that have poor sales and need every monthly reader to remain in existence (IE. Gotham Central, MCU 4 Life!).
  2. Books that come out so rarely, I may be waiting for trade in my grave (IE. Q&C).
Here's what I forgot:

All-Star Superman: This series is a lot of fun and the only real disappointment of it is that it only comes out every two or three months. This could be an excellent entry series for new readers if they had only held it until they had 6 issues in the bag to get it out monthly. Granted, I can understand they wanted it out there for the movie last summer, but still.

Queen & Country: I don't know if there was an issue released of this title in calendar '06, so I don't really blame myself for forgetting that I have this series on my list. Greg Rucka's spy series is excellent, but since it's so written for trade, I think I should take it off and wait for the trades. Then again, since this series sells so low that my shop doesn't even stock it (which is kind of shocking, knowing the amount of books my shop stocks), it might need the help. Incidentally, I'm re-reading the Checkmate trade and man-o-man is that a great series. I think I may have to add that to the list this month (granted, it'll probably get cancelled right afterwards).

What I need to add:

Immortal Iron Fist: I'm buying pretty much everything Brubaker is writing these days, but this series (which I only just realized was an on-going) probably needs all the support it can get. Having Fraction on as a co-writer only adds to its cache with me. Hopefully Bendis will let go of his head-lock on Luke Cage so he can join up with his former partner soon. But for now this is a lot of kung-fu fun.

Nova: I don't know why, but I've always loved Nova (even when he was Kid Nova, which was after he was just Nova, for reasons Marvel has yet to explain). It's probably because, one of the like three comics my brother had in the 70's was Nova #13 (billed as a special anniversary issue, always cracked me up). It was so different from all of my other exposure to superheroes (I was five, so we're talking SuperFriends and Spider-Man on The Electric Company, that's it) at that time that it was incredibly cool. That was the only issue I owned until I finally collected a full run from quarter boxes when I was in high school. So anytime he gets retooled, I have to at least give it a try. And no, I didn't read Annihilation, I'm waiting for trade, but I heard it was really cool.

So there you go, that's what I get and why I get it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

First Day of Summer

I know, I know, it's only April 2nd, but it's opening day (of baseball) and it always signals to me the first day of summer. Actually, it's a pretty nice day here in Chicago (sunny & 58), but the snow should roll in by the Cub's home opener next Monday. So, by the end of the day, the Cubs will either be tied for first place to one game out, either way, let's celebrate!

Here's a summery song to get you in the mood:

The Ponys - Fall Inn